Today I watched a movie I haven’t had the pleasure of watching in ages; you might have guessed it- The Bucket List.
It’s one of those movies that seems like everyone saw it at least once and then never watched again. Well, I recommend watching it again. Especially if you’re anything like me and death is one of those things you try your best not to think about.
After watching it again I realized a few things really stood out to me.
The first was the scene when Carter (Morgan Freeman) is told his diagnosis and thinks: “There was a survey once. A thousand people were asked if they could know in advance would they want to know the exact day of their death. 96% of them said no. I always kind of leaned towards the other 4%. I thought it would be liberating, knowing how much time you had left to work with. It turns out, it’s not.” – (cue the Morgan Freeman voice).
I’m definitely the kind of person who leans towards the 96% and that scene emulates exactly why. As someone who loves to plan there’s always that desire to know your time limits, but that’s a limit from which you just can’t escape. Knowing the day would be soul crushing and then there’s the pressure because the clock it now literally ticking down…
I know that’s a morbid take on it, but it’s a morbid topic guys!
Now if there’s one thing I’ll give this movie, it’s the way in which is handles death. In the past there was only one movie that tackled death in a way I could handle: Never Let Me Go. While that movie will always have a special place in my heart (and I highly recommend it to ANYONE)- The Bucket List definitely confronts it in a much more ‘heads on’ way. When I was younger I don’t think it really resonated because I didn’t think about death and by the time I saw Never Let Me Go I’d easily forgotten all about The Bucket List. Watching it now as an adult though, I definitely have an appreciation for it. Especially this quip.
Edward Cole: I envy people who have faith, I just can’t wrap my head around it.
Carter Chambers: Maybe because your head’s in the way.
I’m not someone who has a faith or follows a religion. I’m not even spiritual. By all accounts I’m definitely Edward in this scene- and probably most of the movie to be fair, but especially during this part. Why? Because I do envy those who have faith and it’s something I just can’t seem to manage myself. I’m just…here. If we were to break it down it’s probably because I over think things or as Carter said; “my head’s in the way”.
Another thing I enjoyed was how Carter brought other faiths into the mix. Like most people, I generally only ever really think of that sort of stuff in the frame of the current big religions since those are ones I hear about the most in my day to day. So, when Carter brought up the ancient Egyptian approach to death I was pleasantly surprised. I used to be really into ancient Egypt. In fact, I’m sure I have some books still lying around, but I didn’t remember that tidbit and I find it very…I guess beautiful.
You know, the ancient Egyptians had a beautiful belief about death. When their souls got to the entrance to heaven, the guards asked two questions. Their answers determined whether they were able to enter or not. ‘Have you found joy in your life?’ ‘Has your life brought joy to others?’ – (cue the Morgan Freeman voice again).
Those are the questions that resurface at the end of the movie; ‘Have you found joy in your life?’ and ‘Has your life brought joy to others?’. In a way I think that’s all I can strive for really. I like to make others happy and I also want to be happy. What else is there to achieve, right? Well, specifically I think what I want the most is to have been able to make an impact on someone’s life the same way Carter did for Edward. Hopefully the other two will naturally follow…
This is one of those movies that manages to make me laugh and at the end has my eyes watering. In the past I’d never admit to a movie making me teary eyed, but as I’ve gotten older the whole “acting stone cold in order to appear strong” bit doesn’t cut it for me anymore. I’d rather openly be me because in a lot of cases I find not forcing yourself into a mold takes a lot more effort.
With all this being said I think I will create a bucket list and possibly post it that way I’ll have it in a specific place and can update it as I find more things I really want to do. Will the Himalayas be on this list? Hahaha- no. Have you guys seen the movie Everest? If not, I’d look up the story of what happened. SO, unless I can climb a different part…I’ll pass on that adventure for now.
O.P. 16 January 2018